Bi-directional light transmission properties assessment for venetian blinds : Computer simulations compared to photogoniometer measurements
An accurate evaluation of daylight distribution through advanced fenestration systems (complex glazing, solar shading systems) requires the knowledge of their Bi-directional light Transmission Distribution Function (BTDF). An innovative equipment for the experimental assessment of these bi-directional functions has been developed, based on a digital imaging detection system. An extensive set of BTDF measurements was performed with this photogoniometer on venetian blinds presenting curved slats with a mirror coating on the upper side. In this paper, the measured data are compared with ray-tracing results achieved with a virtual copy of the device, that was constructed with a commercial ray-tracing software. The model of the blind was created by implementing the measured reflection properties of the slats coatings in the ray-tracing calculations. These comparisons represent an original and objective validation methodology for detailed bi-directional properties for a complex system; the good agreement between the two methods, yet presenting very different parameters and assessment methodologies, places reliance both on the digital-imaging detection system and calibration, and on the potentiality of a flexible calculation method combining ray-tracing simulations with simple components measurements.